Cricket: Otago cruise to win over Wellington

An explosive century from Brendan Taylor wasn't enough for Wellington to beat Otago, who made relatively short work of the Firebird's good score of 170 for three in their HRV Cup Twenty20 cricket match in Queenstown today.

The Zimbabwean import smacked 101 off 58, an innings that included eight fours and five sixes, but watched on as Otago cruised past Wellington's total with eight balls to spare.

Dimitri Mascarenhas (41 off 25 balls), Aaron Redmond (48 off 42) and Brendon McCullum (36 off 20) put Otago in a strong position before Craig Cumming (29 not out) and Neil Broom (10 not out) completed the job.

They doused the threat of Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who went for a relatively miserly 20 runs for one wicket in his four overs, but were often brutal on the rest of the Wellington attack.

Earlier, Grant Elliott had provided good support to Taylor with a knock of 49 not out from 31 balls.

Otago now have 10 points on the HRV Cup table and are joint top with Canterbury and Auckland.

Canterbury easily won their abbreviated game against Northern Districts in Mt Maunganui this afternoon.

Only five overs each side were possible after heavy rain in the Bay of Plenty region and Canterbury posted a competitive total of 49-4 in their five overs thanks largely to Brendon Diamanti, who hit 29 off 13 balls.

Northern were never in the hunt, limping through to 33-3 in their five overs.